On January 4, 2020, the President of the United States threatened to destroy Iranian cultural sites in a tweet.

"Iran has been nothing but problems for many years," he wrote. "Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

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On April 15th, France lost part of one of its most iconic buildings — Notre Dame Cathedral. However, fundraising efforts for the rebuild began quickly, and now there are several design firms competing for the job.

France also opened the bidding up to international designers, and that really fanned the flame of the competition. Within the past month, grand design plans have been pouring in, and some of the most interesting ones go beyond historical restoration to directly address one of the world's greatest challenges — climate change.

Hey, the Paris Agreement doesn't have to be the only innovative green initiative in France, right?

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China just built a new, futuristic library. And while it's not quite as amazing as it seems, it's still an architectural marvel.

Real books are making a comeback. Yes, everyone loves a good ebook — or even better, a good audio book — but nothing beats the look and feel of a real, honest-to-God book in your hands.

Need proof that print books aren't going away anytime soon? Just check out the new (and lavish) Tianjin Binhai Library, located outside of Beijing. It's an incredible sight to behold.

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Zaha Hadid, designer of some of world's most captivating, groundbreaking buildings, passed away today at age 65.

Photo by Andrew Rentz/Getty Images.

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